The Sony Reon Pocket - a personal, wearable air conditioner - is available to buy right now. Revealed mid-2019, with an expected price of $120, the Reon Pocket is a device the size of a small smartphone that can be carried around on your person, inserted into special shirts, or just placed near the wearer. While it's only currently on the Sony Japan store, a US release date is expected to follow soon. For those intrepid enough, you can currently import via the Sony Japan site, or Amazon Japan.
Sony claims the Reon Pocket can reduce the body temperature of the wearer by an impressive 23 degrees (Fahrenheit) on hot summer days. It also works as a personal heating device, and Sony claims the Reon Pocket will boost body temperature by 14 degrees on cold days.
The Sony Reon Pocket does seem to be a smart device, and those seeking personal air conditioning while spending time outside will relish the chance to buy one and try it out for themselves. At $120 from the official Sony website, it's reasonably cheap, although not on the same level as a small personal fan. However, it cools much quicker and more effectively than fans, so is ideal for anyone who regularly finds themselves in pockets of heat, without the comfort of a regular central air conditioning unit (opens in new tab).
- Check out the Reon Pocket via the official Sony website (opens in new tab)
Sony Reon Pocket - how long does it last?
It makes use of what's called the 'Peltier effect', whereby small electrical currents either absorb or emit heat, and the Sony Reon Pocket can cool you down at different rates. For users looking at that full 23 degree cooling, you'll likely only get about two hours of usage out of the device. Similarly, if you're looking to use it as a heater, at full blast, then you'll get a couple of hours before needing to charge the Reon overnight.
If you want more steady cooling, you can make the device last for up to four hours, which should get you through most hot spots. It won't last you through long walks or car journeys through sweltering states, but that's still impressive longevity from a device no larger than a regular computer mouse.
The standard model is Bluetooth-enabled, letting you control the temperature via an Android or iOS smartphone app, and Sony has said that an automatic mode could be added further down the line. It charges via a USB-C connection, which is standard for most electronics in 2020. Many of the best laptops (opens in new tab) come with USB-C input ports, so you will be well covered.
Sony Reon Pocket - shirts, and accessories
You may be wondering where you can get the Reon Pocket shirts, which are custom built to house the portable air con unit and make the most of its cooling abilities. These can also be purchased from the official Sony store, although the options do seem limited right now, and very focused on the Japanese market.
They cost around $17, which is ok for a shirt, and you can buy them in white or tan - not exactly a thrilling selection. We'd suggest wearing them underneath another shirt but... what's the point of having a personal air conditioner if you're going to just wear more layers anyway?
We will update this article as more news on the US release date for the Reon Pocket comes out, along with US prices and US retailer details.